RAAMP: Sure Way To End Poverty, Promote Rural Development – FG
By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has restated its commitment towards ensuring the success of the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) as a way forward to ending poverty and promoting rural development across the country.
The Director of Project Coordinating Unit- Federal Ministry of Finance, Mallam Burka Musa who stated this at the 5th Joint World Bank and French Development Agency (AfD) Support Mission in Abuja on Wednesday, also assured that the Government will leave no stone unturned in realizing the project development objective of RAAMP.
According to him, government will achieve this objective through boosting agricultural productivity, upgrading rural road infrastructure and agricultural marketing hubs to improve the overall quality of life of our rural populace.
The Director commended the World Bank, the French Development Agency and the Federal Project Management Unit of RAAMP led by Engr Aminu Bodinga Mohammad, describing the project as a veritable tool for grassroots development.
In their separate remarks, Engr Aminu Bodinga Mohammad – RAAMP National Coordinator; the RAAMP Task Team Leader, World Bank- Engr Olatunji Ahmed; Rakeesh Tripathi- World Bank Task Team Leader noted that the essence of the mission is to evaluate, brainstorm and identify achievements, as well as challenges with the aim to proffer solutions targeted towards the overall success of the project across all participating states of the project.
Additionally, they charged all participants to feel free to socialize and share knowledge which will be leveraged upon for the overall milestone realization of the project.
According to a statement by RAAMP Development Communications Officer, Amadi Vivian, the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Humanitarian Affairs and RAAMP focal person- Mrs. Anne Aligwe, World Bank and French Development Agency consultants, Project Coordinators and Project Implementation Units attended the event.
Highpoints of the event were presentations by the Abia, Akwa-Ibom and Ebonyi State Project Coordinators as well as Break sessions involving the various project departments for continued knowledge sharing among participants.
World Milk Day: Association Advises on Responsible Use of Antibiotics
The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), has advised Nigerians to use antibiotics responsibly in the dairy industry, to prevent production of milk with antibiotic residues.
Dr Gloria Daminabo, National Publicity Secretary of NVMA, stated this in a statement to commemorate the World Milk Day on Friday in Abuja.
Daminabo said responsible use of antibiotics in dairy products or cow, would go a long way in curbing the menace of anti-microbial resistance in the country.
The spokesperson who said the day was to encourage people to drink milk and stay healthy, advocated for safety of milk.
“Milk is known as an important global food. The day is to spread awareness on the challenges of the production and distribution of milk.
“The theme emphasized the industry’s commitment to reducing its footprint while providing nutritious food and sustainable livelihoods.
“As we join the world to say enjoy dairy, we also advocate for safe milk,’ she said.
Daminabo said the day was set aside to celebrate the dairy industry for feeding humanity.
World milk day is commemorated on June 1 and the theme for 2023 is “Sustainable Dairy”(NAN)
FCTA Launches 2023 Farming Season: Assorted Agricultural Inputs Delivered to Farmers
By Laide Akinboade, ABUJA
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) witnessed the commencement of the highly anticipated 2023 farming season as Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Minister of State for FCT, distributed a range of agricultural inputs to farmers in Abuja.
This momentous event holds significant importance, coinciding with the beginning of the farming season in the FCT.It also marks the commendable achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which has prioritized agriculture as a crucial aspect of revitalizing the Nigerian economy.
During the official flag-off ceremony in Abuja, Dr. Aliyu emphasized the integral role of agricultural development programs in the FCT Administration’s agenda.She noted, “Back in 2019, the FCT last witnessed such an event. Unfortunately, due to the End SARS protest, which resulted in the theft of procured inputs meant for distribution to farmers, the event couldn’t be organized in 2022. However, our dedicated efforts over the past year have led to a complete overhaul of warehouses and increased capacity to store numerous inputs.”
Significant progress has been made, with the allocation for agricultural inputs procurement skyrocketing from N200 million in 2021 to a whopping N2 billion in the 2023 budget. This generous funding has been utilized to obtain fertilizers, irrigation equipment, mechanized farm implements, agrochemicals, and improved seedlings.
Moreover, a total of 970 metric tons of NPK, 750 metric tons of Urea, and 6,000 liters of liquid fertilizers have been acquired. These products will be sold to farmers at subsidized rates of 50%, approved by the FCT Administration.
To ensure efficient distribution of inputs to targeted farmers, Dr. Aliyu has instructed the Agriculture & Rural Development Secretariat to expand the scope of the Fertilizer Distribution Committee. Their primary focus is on reaching cooperative societies, area council authorities, 17 chiefdoms, SWOFON (Women Farmers), Sarkin Noma’s in the 62 wards of FCT, vulnerable groups, and individual farmers.
It is worth noting that the procured inputs are not solely intended for crop farming; a significant portion of the funds has been allocated to the fisheries, livestock, veterinary, and forestry development sectors.
Dr. Aliyu further emphasized the importance of Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) alongside agricultural inputs. The Administration has consistently invested in knowledge acquisition by organizing programs to introduce farmers to more efficient innovations.
During the ceremony, Mr. Olusade Adesola, the Permanent Secretary of FCTA, addressed the pressing global issues of food crisis, population growth, conflicts, and climate change. He stressed the strategic significance of the annual provision of inputs to farmers in strengthening food production systems, urging continued support and funding for the sector.
Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim, the Secretary of the Agriculture & Rural Development Secretariat, expressed optimism about the impact of the support provided to farmers. With the substantial quantity of inputs procured for distribution, the FCT anticipates a bumper harvest, projecting a potential improvement of up to 30% in the food insecurity situation within the Federal Capital Territory.
Allocation letters were distributed to some beneficiaries during the event, enabling them to collect their inputs on-site. Other farmers will need to present valid allocation letters with evidence of payment to redeem their products from designated warehouses located in Gwagwalada, Tungan-Maje, Gwagwa, Kwali, Karshi, Abaji, and Kwali.
Kwara Govt Flags-off Distribution of Farm Inputs
The Kwara Government has flagged-off the distribution of farm inputs to farmers for this year’s raining season farming.
The state Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, distributed the inputs at the Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters in Ilorin.
The event was attended by top government functionaries, representatives of the Minister of Agriculture and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), as well as members of the state House of Assembly, among other participants.
Kayode said the intervention became necessary due to the flood disaster that occurred last year, which resulted in the loss of livelihood of farmers in parts of the country.
“Agriculture remains the major source of food, poverty alleviation and source of raw materials for our local industries.
“However, the flood disaster that occurred in some parts of the state last year has resulted in unprecedented food crisis, increased poverty, high inflation, malnutrition and high level of unemployment.
“To solve this problem requires interventions from all levels of government including international humanitarian actors,” said the deputy governor.
Alabi explained that the state government was concerned with the challenges posed by these threat to the state socio-economic development and food security.
He however assured that the present administration remained committed to improving the standard of living of the populace through various impactful intervention programmes and projects.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Malam AbdulLateef Alakawa, appreciated Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for providing enabling environment for the agricultural sector.
Alakawa specifically noted the prompt payment of the state counterpart funds for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ), Livestock Productivity and Resilient Support Project (L-PRES), and the FADAMA NG CARES Project.
“The ultimate aim of these intervention programmes is to improve food security, reduce poverty and create job opportunities in the state and the country at large,” he said.
The representative of the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Godwin Oyigoga, disclosed that the distribution exercise was as a result of a report by Cadre Harmonise (CH), under the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS), which had earlier predicted the possibility of food crisis across the states of the federation; and the need to support farmers to avert the prediction.
Oyigoga, who is also the Head of Community Driven Development (CDD), NPFS Office, Abuja, commended the Kwara government collaboration and foresight towards ensuring food security in the country.
He however appealed to the state government for more financial support to Kwara Agricultural Development Project (KADP) Office and Cadre Harmonise for an improved service delivery.
In her welcome address, the Managing Director, Kwara ADP, Dr Khadijat Ahmed, appreciated both the federal and state governments for their support in delivering the agency’s mandate.
She promised that the agency would ensure that the beneficiaries of the agricultural inputs used it for the intended purpose. (NAN)
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